My Family

Greetings from from my neck of the woods, and no I am not little red riding hood 😉   Thank you to all the new follows and likes. Whether you visit or stay a while, I am grateful for each and every one of you fellow sojourners.

Some reasons I Write… And I Write…

I introduce to you my beautiful family. This picture was taken at my 50th birthday party. It was a time of great celebration and joy. Little did we know what was around the corner, however, this day was a day of making wonderful memories. Tomorrow is not here, yesterday is past, today is what we have. Those around us are precious gifts. Let us lavishly love! Let us dance like nobody is watching, and even if someone is watching…let them see YOU – dancing, crying, smiling, splattered on the floor…let them see the real you. TODAY is a gift…what will we do with it?

Stigma

The stigma and shame behind “labels” can create enormous havoc in an already broken and fragile state of mind. The struggle to cope and understand is greatly affected by once upbringing and the prevailing mindset of those around you.

I grew up in an environment where the mindset was that you fended for yourself and vigilantly hid any sign of weakness. Talking about “it” was a resounding NO…not an option. Going to the doctor was not an option, either, let alone a mental health specialist. Finances were slim to nothing. Any monies had would go to feeding the many mouths that begged for a piece of tortilla to appease their growling stomachs.

Any reference to a psychiatrist or psychologist was in disgust or disdain saying, “that person must be totally crazy to go to that! That’s not needed. They are good for nothing.”

There was an auntie who dared to venture into that forbidden territory. Oh, the things that were whispered about her. Those words cut to the heart. No one else dare venture out. They did not want to be part of those cutting conversations and side glances.

Do to extreme circumstances, another family member saw herself in need of venturing out. She did, however, in the strictest most hidden way. No one must know. Eventually, she stopped going. Maybe it was too difficult to keep up the front…we will never know. In her ultimate darkest moment, the “help” needed was denied and with no power to keep fighting, she ultimately succumbed to it all.

Many months have ensued, the memory of accepting my medical doctor’s advice comes to mind. The initial phone call. The first appointment. All the voices within and without. The fight to not get up from that chair. The fight to not flee that office…to run out. Each session, a struggle to accept.

I think I’m starting to accept…I think I’m starting to give my therapist a chance…I think this is NOT weakness, but strength…I think this is not shameful, but a necessity.

~ ~ ~ AND…it is…OK ~ ~ ~

Junior High

Her awkwardness was evident. Not really sure she belonged. She and her mother had ventured a long way from their quaint little village. A never ending, so it seemed, highway brought them to the much talked about “norte”. All she knew was that she was with her mother on a journey to “visit” her Dad. At 9 years of age, no details are needed, just that you are going on a trip. Little did she know that “el norte” would become home.

Years passed rapidly since their arrival and now here she was in another unknown, chaotic environment, where puberty was at its peak. Who knew “bullying” would become such a hot topic? Who knew “mean girls” would be made into a movie? All she knew was she needed to find a way to survive. Why was it that every place she went, including “home” was a fight to stay alive? Life and the pursuit of purpose and meaning continued, hoping to find less pain.

She was not one of “them”. She was not one of “those”. Where did she belong? Where did she fit in? Her clothes had no label, but always clean. Her shoes needed to last and last, cause unless they were falling apart, she would not get another. Who knew outfits needed to match? Well, she knew, she just couldn’t do anything about it. New clothes and shoes and supplies for the school year was not in her radar.

Mr. Diaz was a kind man. He invited her to “The Mecha Club”. She decided to go, maybe she’d fit in? Who knew? Walking in with heavy feet – her feet have been heavily dragging for most of her life – there she was. Her thrift store attire was no match for this clean and pressed group. Stared at, looked up and down to see if she matched the criteria…if she fit in. What torture for a girl who couldn’t hang with the outside crowd, but she sure didn’t seem to fit in with the in crowd.

What was it that attracted her to the gang life? She sure didn’t fit in. She sure didn’t belong. Somehow she managed to get “similar” clothes, tried the make up and hair look AND got the nickname “La Sleepy” — how’s that for a fear inducing name?

Initiation antics followed. Alcohol and dabbling in other illegal substances. Although alcohol had already been the numbing agent of choice. It was the only way to numb the pain of the abuse ( The Runaway).

Junior High, a bridge between kidhood and younghood. A place where fitting in felt more like a pinball machine, however, the “scoring” was way, way off. And, being an immigrant girl with an accent did not help the volley from one place to another, from one group to another.

It seems like ages ago, and yet so readily available in the memory bank. Survived, and life continued with more road to travel on this journey of life.

Valuable Dirt

What draws me here? What do I expect to find? Is it that I am sorely aware that your shell is beneath this manicured lawn? No amount of decorations, beautiful though they are, can remove the agony of reality. Every bug, every worm a horrible reminder of ones end. From dust we came, to dust (dirt) we will return.

As the reel of my mind plays and replays those horrid images, which threaten to undo what little sanity remains, I have to purposefully make the choice to think and meditate on images of heaven – you are whole, complete, full of joy! There is no other way for this Momma’s heart to find comfort and solace.

Almost a year and a half of your departure, AND it still feels surreal. I’m learning to accept that this “feeling” will be part of me until the day I take that same journey and we are united again. Oh, how that day drags on…endlessly painful…my eyes blurred to the horizon.

Do you think of me? Do you miss me? Of course NOT, that would be torture! I know…I live it! No, this isn’t living…I’m barely enduring it!

Death, the ultimate separation. The gut wrenching reality we will all have to face. No one escapes it!

“Grief has a way of lodging itself in the body…There is a substance to sorrow, a gritty reality and physicality that, if left untended, has the power to choke out one’s hope.” ~ Annie Parsons

Introvert

From “Introvert Nation Movement” FB Page:

“You look pissed off, what’s wrong?” It’s just my face…

“I don’t always have time to call people back, but when I do, I don’t”

“I hate when someone rings my doorbell because then I have to drop whatever I’m doing to be silent and pretend I’m not home”

Finally getting some “balance” from the horrible spiral of last weekend. In one of my “sitting staring at nothing” episodes, I scrolled through this FB Page. Social Media triggers me to no end, so I had been taking a break from it. I found this page by “mistake” as I was looking through my daughter’s FB page (something I do often).

I’ve been told that I am “the life of the party”. Now, I’m wondering if it was all a masquerade (Plastic Faces).

Some posts are hilarious and made for a good laugh. While others are material for deep thought.

Have you ever had one of those “aha, moments” when you realized that you are different than what you thought?